bac·​te·​ri·​cid·​al bak-ˌtir-ə-ˈsī-dᵊl How to pronounce bactericidal (audio)
variants or less commonly bacteriocidal
: destroying bacteria
bactericide noun
or less commonly bacteriocide

Examples of bactericidal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cicadas, dragonflies and many other flying insects have similar wing surfaces that are naturally bactericidal, meaning bacteria killing. Ashok Prasad, The Conversation, 26 June 2023 The team found that the cicada Magicicada cassinii, which emerges every 17 years and has shorter nanopillars, has surface chemicals that by themselves seem to have bactericidal properties—suggesting these cicadas rely more on their chemical components than structure to kill microbes. Jillian Kramer, Scientific American, 14 Sep. 2020 Benzoyl peroxide is a topical bactericidal agent that’s found in many over-the-counter and prescription acne medications. Kaitlyn Pirie, Good Housekeeping, 28 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bactericidal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bactericidal was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near bactericidal

Cite this Entry

“Bactericidal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


bac·​te·​ri·​cid·​al bak-ˌtir-ə-ˈsīd-ᵊl How to pronounce bactericidal (audio)
variants also bacteriocidal
: destroying bacteria
bactericidally adverb
bactericide noun
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